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Author Topic: Why won't Larrivee compete at a higher level?!  (Read 14592 times)
Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2007, 02:43:22 AM »

I've played and handled 1000's of guitar,now the really dumb ?????? What is a high end guitar.

I play what I play because they sound good and play great,high end low end what does it really matter.

Light build heavy build I own both.


Please Explain it to me.
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2007, 08:50:48 AM »

My Larrivée D60 look & sound like a high end dread for me,

i'd never try Santa Cruz or Collings, but i'd try some Taylor and a lot of Martins. and i choose the Larrivée
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2007, 11:34:27 AM »

Good post Dale. If people want to believe that Mr. L doesn't know exactly what he's doing with his company, that's their right. It seems pretty obvious that he does, however. 
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sgarnett
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« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2007, 12:43:49 PM »

I am also confused by 'lighter build'  ?

My OM-03 Forum MT is as light a guitar as I could ask for.  Always surprizes me when I set the L aside and pick it up.

The spruce top Forums feel very light also, even compared to my '92 OM-10 that has the old-style carved braces. Yes, the shorter neck saves a little weight (and improves the balance too), but there's more to it than that. For whatever reason the result is wonderfully responsive.

If the question is really, "why won't they reopen the custom shop?", I suspect the answer is partly that Wendy has retired. The 12th Fret (I think) claims to have the last Larrivee engraved by her. For years, custom at Larrivee largely meant inlay engraved by Wendy (such as my beautiful OM-10). I also suspect the custom -03s just aren't profitable enough to bother with at the Canadian plant. I'm sure they will reopen some form of custom shop eventually.
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FNG
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« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2007, 12:53:08 PM »

I saw a SD-60 Brazilian in sunburst Norman Blake custom for sale.  If that ain't high end, I don't know what is.  I also think the Larrivee upcharge for Brw is very competitive. 
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« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2007, 02:00:53 PM »

I saw a SD-60 Brazilian in sunburst Norman Blake custom for sale.  If that ain't high end, I don't know what is.  I also think the Larrivee upcharge for Brw is very competitive. 

Right. I have a OOO-50 TSB that just reeks of low end. 
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Blue in VT
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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2007, 02:17:13 PM »

tone for tone.....Larrivee competes....and wins!!!!   bowdown (<love this new guy)

 

 

Blue
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« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2007, 02:22:46 PM »

For big body dreads, the SD-50 is as good as it gets. 

The only way to improve it, imo, would be to have the top "tone-tapped" and the braces shaved accordingly for each and every guitar.  And how much do you want to pay for such a beast?

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jeremy3220
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« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2007, 02:40:24 PM »

So here's what I've learned so far in this thread:

*Larrivee guitars are cheaper.
*Larrivee is not able to spend the time and apply the same amount of attention to each instrument as say Santa Cruz or Olsen Guitars,etc.
*Larrivee has simple thick bracing.
*Yet, Larrivee guitars are just as good or better than any other guitar.

The real question is, why do more expensive builders companies spend so much time hand tuning their tops and intricate braces, beveling their frets, offering different bracing patterns and slotted bridges, sound ports, arm bevels,etc? Think about it... they already sell their guitars for outrageous prices, they could do so much less work. If they simplify their bracing and stop fine tuning each individual instrument they can put out  a much better guitar at less cost to them. Then everyone who isn't hip to Larrivee will be like "these Olsen's are sounding great now" and then builders like that can charge even more!

P.S. I bet if you started a "Why won't Ovation compete at a higher level?!" on the Ovation forum you'd get the same reaction or if you did this on the Takamine, Seagull, Fender forums. I like Larrivee guitars, but I'm not delusional.

Mike, I think the reason is ... they don't need to. I think there doing pretty good now and building 'lighter built' guitar series would require a big intial investment (time, money, employee training).
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« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2007, 02:42:36 PM »

For big body dreads, the SD-50 is as good as it gets. 

The only way to improve it, imo, would be to have the top "tone-tapped" and the braces shaved accordingly for each and every guitar.  And how much do you want to pay for such a beast?



That was the original question... Why doesn't Larrivee make some guitars (like a new series) that have exactly what you just said.

Cost? maybe.
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UK Mike
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« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2007, 02:45:09 PM »

Hi

Just to clarify when I say a "lighter build" I was indeed referring mostly to top thickness and to bracing mass - not how heavy the guitar is overall (as that will not be so dependent on the spruce bits).

There are some good advantages of the stronger build of Larrivees (it's going to be more stable over time). But the lightness of the build of boutique guitars makes them responsive in a way a sturdy build can't be.

I certainly don't think Larrivee should change to light build for all of it's guitars (I feel comfortable taking my plain Jane parlor places where I wouldn't take a boutique guitar) but it would be nice to see a range of instruments that have had the tops and braces thinned more (and that people know that they will have to be more careful with).

It would obviously add to the price. But if Larrivee want to remembered for high end guitars (the stimulation for this thread) they are going to have to enter the mix with high-end makers. And I'm sure they could do a good job of it.

Mike
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« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2007, 03:03:07 PM »

Hi


It would obviously add to the price. But if Larrivee want to remembered for high end guitars (the stimulation for this thread) they are going to have to enter the mix with high-end makers. And I'm sure they could do a good job of it.

Mike

This still appears to assume that Mr. Larrivée doesn't know what he wants for his company. Gee he's only managed to make a small Canadian in home business into the third or fourth largest North American maker of fine acoustic guitars in about 30 years. Maybe he doesn't want to be James Olson. Besides, who's stopping anyone from buying one of these other guitars? Jean Larrivée? 
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2007, 03:41:12 PM »

This still appears to assume that Mr. Larrivée doesn't know what he wants for his company.


No it doesn't, he just said Larrivee wants to be remembered for for high end guitars. (Well, he phrased it in an 'If - then' statement.)
Mike does assume Larrivee knows what he wants for his company, but that he isn't going to get there without building guitars with a better 'lightness of build".

Maybe he doesn't want to be James Olson, but I think to be recognized for their high-tier guitars that they have to do more than building dolled up 03's. I don't think just enlarging the soundhole and changing the angle of the X brace is enough, either. Certainly people here will disagree but what about the guitar community as a whole? What about other Luthiers?
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« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2007, 04:25:15 PM »

I can follow the argument here, and most people are pointing to the obvious:  If it sounds good to you, it's good.  We have all played some Larrivees that have knocked our socks off, or we wouldn't be here, right?  I have played some that just didn't do it for me.  I see the argument, but I can say that I have a Bourgeois (light build, I guess ) that I got from another forum member that sounds divine AND costs a pretty penny new and I love it, but I have played 2 others that I would gladly turn down for an 03 Larrivee and be happy I saved a few grand!  Larrivee is making money and making a great product, and the darn things sound and play great...

I would like to add the OM10K I just got from unclrob is high end to say the least, and the Bourgeouis hasn't been out of the case since it got here!  I like this new guy, too  bowdown

Justin
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« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2007, 04:41:30 PM »

Re: Why won't Larrivee compete at a higher level?!

i don't know the reason but i am so grateful they didn't ..so that i could afford the guitar.....

their build method is top of the industry (this is my opinion)..

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ducktrapper
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« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2007, 04:42:03 PM »

No it doesn't, he just said Larrivee wants to be remembered for for high end guitars. (Well, he phrased it in an 'If - then' statement.)
Mike does assume Larrivee knows what he wants for his company, but that he isn't going to get there without building guitars with a better 'lightness of build".

Maybe he doesn't want to be James Olson, but I think to be recognized for their high-tier guitars that they have to do more than building dolled up 03's. I don't think just enlarging the soundhole and changing the angle of the X brace is enough, either. Certainly people here will disagree but what about the guitar community as a whole? What about other Luthiers?

What about them? How many guitars do they buy every year? Anyway, we can split hairs about who means what but If I could answer for Mr. Larrivée, I might just say, "When you have your guitar company, you can do whatever you like with it."  
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« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2007, 04:54:46 PM »

I can follow the argument here, and most people are pointing to the obvious:  If it sounds good to you, it's good.  We have all played some Larrivees that have knocked our socks off, or we wouldn't be here, right?  I have played some that just didn't do it for me.  I see the argument, but I can say that I have a Bourgeois (light build, I guess ) that I got from another forum member that sounds divine AND costs a pretty penny new and I love it, but I have played 2 others that I would gladly turn down for an 03 Larrivee and be happy I saved a few grand!  Larrivee is making money and making a great product, and the darn things sound and play great...

I would like to add the OM10K I just got from unclrob is high end to say the least, and the Bourgeouis hasn't been out of the case since it got here!  I like this new guy, too  bowdown

Justin

Excellent post, and it pretty much sums things up.  I kind of figured this thread was initially another one of those slow, easy pitches across the plate where all of the Larrivee faithful could step up to take easy swings and cut down every other guitar maker; but I'm pleasantly surprised with most of the objectivity.  Jean Claude Larrivee more than likely knows what he wants for his company; but his son wanting to be known for an image that doesn't fit the model lineup is a bit out of step.
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« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2007, 04:56:59 PM »

I have said it before and here it is again.
I have played my SD-60 with some folks who have high-end guitars. (Martin's D45 & D41, Collings, Huss & Dalton, Froggy Bottom, & other custom built.
Volume, voice, tone, sustain, playability it's as good as any of them. Even my friends agree. My SD is near the top of the Larrivee line as it is a sunburst top, but less than most of the others my friends own. Of course no one paid any where near retail, so my SD was significantly less. IMHO it is not price that makes a high end guitar, but is the sound.

If you really believe Larrivee does not compete in the high-end world you need to play a SD. A few of the forum folks swear by (not at) their "000's" & "00's" I can only imagine their sound.
My new "0" is an awesome small guitar.

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« Reply #38 on: April 13, 2007, 05:34:05 PM »

I got to examine and play Larrivée's "travelling stock" at a clinic yesterday. an 000-70, a Braz 000 and Braz slope - others also...

They are PLENTY high end, believe me!
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« Reply #39 on: April 13, 2007, 05:34:29 PM »

I think Larrivee has pretty effectively positioned their company to compete very effectively against Taylor and Martin, with a build quality that is as good or better and  with excellent sonic qualities, keeping in mind that judging sonic qualities is a highly subjective and personal process.  

Looking at it purely from a business model perspective, I think it is a mistake to try and be all things to all people.  Larrivee has very effectively built a reputation for strong value in the $700 - $1200 guitar market, in fact I think their products own that segment or should. Much of their strength comes from the decision to build their guitars using one build model and coming in with lower prices for the 03 series by leaving out some of the more time consuming finishes.  The 03's just cant be beat.

 I agree with those that think when you get to the $1800-$3000ish segment it gets a bit more competitive, not with Taylors or Martins per se but more with smaller or dare I say boutique builders that can spend more time in delivering individual services and options that Larrivee is currently not set up to handle, hence the elimination, at least for now of their custom shop.

Pat Mc
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